To bear the distinctive stamp of your own personality and cherish it for the value it adds to other lives- that to me, is self-worth.
It took me five decades to arrive at that. Born dark skinned, shorter than most and having a very poor grasp of the English language were certainly not pluses for a young girl in the times that I grew up in. I don’t recall however, that I felt undervalued on account of that in my own eyes. I don’t remember it having mattered at all.
The reason for that was that I was loved beyond measure by parents and grandparents who had very high expectations of me. Self-worth comes from valuing yourself for what you are. In my teenage years and beyond I would be lost in the journey of trying to be what I could never be. Pretending that I was someone other than myself because it was easier to identify with others and blend seamlessly into the environment. The harder I tried, the more I didn’t fit in. The death of my grandfather and my own parents took away the rudder of my self-worth, for my meaning came through their validation of who they wanted me to be. I was always happy to comply and when I lost that validation there was a vacuum that left me searching for my own identity
I chased dreams. I lived in other worlds where I was successful. I tried desperately to understand what it was I wanted to be. Then the agony of loss and pain that surrounded me forced me to look inward. What was my worth? Was it what someone said or what labels were attached to me? In doing so I discovered that self-worth comes from honing those facets that are unique in you. No one is ever going to be like you ever again. You have much to give the world and you have been placed here for a purpose.
I looked back to the days of my childhood and knew that the self -belief and self -worth I experienced then were bestowed on me I needed those whom I loved to define my worth. I needed them to instill the confidence in me so that I could achieve. In taking away all that was precious I learned that you have to learn to value yourself.
No one can value you as much because no one knows you as well as you do. You can forgive yourself. You can motivate yourself. You can be resilient and rise again from the ashes again and again if only you understand your worth. And to be truly worthy, you need to polish and perfect every facet that is YOU.
I have learned that we cannot exist in isolation. Solitude is a splendid thing to refresh the mind and rejuvenate your senses but we exist in the real world where we are connected to everything around us. My worth increases every time I touch another life. I feel empowered when I can add value and meaning to others. I am a part of this universe and I will always be so. In helping others discover their self -worth, I am defining my own.
Everyone is distinct and unique. No two lives will ever tell the same story. I tell myself every single day, this is another brilliant opportunity to add meaning to the world in my own unique way. The words I utter, the things, I do the thoughts I think will fashion a part of the world as long as I live. I add significant value and it can increase if I recognize the value it brings to the world.